Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Spanish club ready to test the waters with approach for Man City star Pep Guardiola likes

Oleksandr Zinchenko Man City

A Spanish club is reportedly ready to test the waters by making an approach for Manchester City star Oleksandr Zinchenko.

The versatile Ukrainian, who can operate as a left-back or further up the pitch in central midfield, is liked by Pep Guardiola. He turns to the 25-year-old when a position needs filling, despite having such a large squad.

Zinchenko’s reputation as a utility man means he does not start in the Premier League as much as some of his team-mates. Indeed, he has only made seven appearances in the competition this season, registering one assist in that time.

The player’s contract runs until June 2024, putting City in a strong position in terms of a transfer.

Nevertheless, The Sun report Real Betis are aiming to test their resolve by preparing to move in. They have already made an ‘enquiry’ about Zinchenko’s availability, too.

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However, it looks set to be good news for Guardiola and City as the player has no intention of leaving Manchester.

He wants to continue being a part of the trophy-laden squad and to help them win more silverware this season.

Zinchenko is also gunning for a new deal at the Etihad, which could see him spend the majority of his prime with the club.

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The report does not state how far Betis are willing to push to sign him. Presumably they would back off should City reveal a new contract is in the works.

Zinchenko has made over 110 appearances for the Citizens so far, scoring on just two occasions. He has won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and four Carabao Cup trophies since joining in 2017.

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Man City target being ‘positioned’ for transfer

Meanwhile, reports claim City and Chelsea target Matthijs de Ligt is being ‘positioned’ for a transfer by his agent, Mino Raiola.

Guardiola apparently wants to partner de Ligt with Ruben Dias. Chelsea, meanwhile, aim to make him Thiago Silva’s successor at Stamford Bridge.

According to Goal, who cite Italian outlet La Repubblica, Raiola is pushing the centre-back to leave Juventus.

The Dutchman apparently has a release clause worth €150million (£125m) which becomes active this summer. But Juve are now willing to accept €65m (£54.1m) for the star, in a surprising turn of events.

But it will not be easy for City or Chelsea to complete a deal, despite the 22-year-old’s reduced transfer fee. The report claims de Ligt is Xavi’s ‘dream signing’ at Barcelona.

That means the Blaugrana are preparing to enter the race for his services. They could take him to the Nou Camp in the summer, as a January deal is unlikely.

The race for one of the world’s best young central defenders is clearly hotting up.

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